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Tottenham tight-lipped on MSP Sports Capital’s UK£3.1bn takeover bid

Abh Dhabi backers putting up 30% of funds for reported bid.

15 February 2023 PA

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English soccer club Tottenham are not commenting on reports that they are set to be the subject of a UK£3.1 billion (US$3.72 billion) takeover by Iranian-American billionaire Jahm Najafi.

Najafi, who is chairman of the MSP Sports Capital group, is a minority owner in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Phoenix Suns and an investor in Formula One team McLaren. According to the Financial Times, the 60-year-old is preparing to launch a bid to buy Spurs from current owner Joe Lewis and chairman Daniel Levy.

MSP, which has stakes in a number of European soccer clubs, is reportedly putting up 70 per cent of the proposed price, with investors from Abu Dhabi set to make up the rest of the offer.

MSP’s website says it invests ‘in sports teams, leagues, and businesses in the sports ecosystem that are pursuing ambitious, challenging tasks’ and that it focuses ‘on opportunities where our deep expertise and elite network of principals add value’.

The news may be well received by Spurs fans, who have recently protested at Lewis and Levy’s running of the north London club.

Although they have delivered a UK£1 billion (US$1.2 billion) state-of-the-art stadium, which opened in 2019 and is set to heavily increase revenue streams, the club’s owners have come under heavy fire for a perceived lack of investment in the playing squad, with Spurs having not won a trophy since 2008.

Given Levy’s notorious negotiation skills and Chelsea’s recent sale for UK£4.25 billion (US$5.1 billion), it remains to be seen whether Najafi’s reported offer – if it materialises – would be accepted.

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